What the UN Sustainable Development Goals Mean for China

One way in which the Chinese people can make a big impact as soon as possible is to tackle the biggest issues first. While the issue of pollution continues to plague the country, the lack of safe, clean drinking water is actually one of the biggest concerns. (Image: Hermann Rohr / Vision Times)
One way in which the Chinese people can make a big impact as soon as possible is to tackle the biggest issues first. While the issue of pollution continues to plague the country, the lack of safe, clean drinking water is actually one of the biggest concerns. (Image: Hermann Rohr / Vision Times)

Following the UN’s recent release of their 17 sustainable goals this fall, the Chinese government is taking a step back to look at just how they can contribute to meeting these goals by 2030 despite still having air pollution so bad that it has contributed to 1.6 million deaths per year in the country. These goals aim to fundamentally change the world for the better while also looking to help tackle worldwide problems by working to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. While it will take a while for governments around the world to fully implement these goals in their daily practices on a national scale, there are a few ways that the Chinese people can take action that will help accomplish environmentally sustainable goals sooner rather than later.

Investing in sustainable companies

Despite the dismal air pollution statistics, China is actually one of the leading nations when it comes to sustainable businesses and green business practices. In fact, studies show that energy efficiency levels in building practices are 20 percent higher than they were in 2015 and that many of the country’s top Internet tech companies are working to form alliances aimed at using digital technology to advance green finance. While this is all great work on behalf of corporations, it’s really up to Chinese citizens and the way they choose to invest their money to force greener change upon the entire nation. One of the aims of the SDGs is to transform the way the world does business, both in terms of workers rights and sustainability, so by giving their time and money to businesses who embody this goal, Chinese citizens all over the country can enhance the way they care for the environment and the future global economy.

An elderly Chinese couple got lost in the city of Nanjing for almost nine hours after being confused by the dense smog. (Image: erhard.renz via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

Following the UN’s recent release of their 17 sustainable goals this fall, the Chinese government is taking a step back to look at just how they can contribute to meeting these goals by 2030 despite still having air pollution so bad that it has contributed to 1.6 million deaths per year in the country. (Image: erhard.renz via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

Tackling the country’s biggest problems 

Again, while it will take a while for nations to fully adopt these 17 goals, one way in which the Chinese people can make a big impact as soon as possible is to tackle the biggest issues first. While the issue of pollution continues to plague the country, the lack of safe, clean drinking water is actually one of the biggest concerns. According to The Economist, more than 50 percent of China’s surface water is not safe for consumption, and nearly 60 percent of the groundwater in China is considered to be severely polluted. Landfills directly contribute to the contamination of groundwater, which means that by being smart about what they’re sending to these landfills, Chinese citizens can actually help reduce the effects of contamination on their water. The simplest fix is to do away with plastic bottles and consider using an in-home water filter instead.

(Image Credit: Pexels Legal Simplicity

According to The Economist, more than 50 percent of China’s surface water is not safe for consumption, and nearly 60 percent of the groundwater in China is considered to be severely polluted. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Hopeful about a sustainable future

The motive behind the UN’s decision to develop these goals is to ensure prosperity for all. However, the goals won’t work if every nation across the world doesn’t work to do their part in reducing their waste, increasing their environmental consciousness, and engaging in green business practices that will have compounding effects for generations to come. As the country and its government work on implementing these practices on a foundational level, citizens can work to do their part on a daily basis by recycling, consuming less energy and waste, and doing away with the consumption of harmful resources, such as plastic.

Written by Ali Sharp

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